A prayer acknowledged

File Oct 11, 4 12 26 PMI was in my early thirties when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was 23 years ago tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, one of my nieces called seeking advice. She’s been diagnosed, too.  She’s in her late twenties.

I’ve been attending yoga on Sundays for a few weeks now. I keep parking around the corner in pretty much the same spot – right across the street from a small cafe.  I keep wanting to stop into that cafe after yoga. The stomach is empty and suddenly serenity isn’t quite filling it up.

At the end of class today, we prayed for those who are dying or ill. The yogi asked us to think of someone who is in need of such prayers. I prayed for comfort and healing for <Insert Name Of Niece>. We ended by sending a series of Oms out to them.

I thought we were done, but then the yogi started a chant, and I was really excited about it because I recognized it. That made me feel like a little less of a yoga/mediation imposter. And then I realized that I recognized it from a mediation lesson recorded by the late David Simon, a co-founder of the Chopra Center, who had died of cancer. That made me sad.

After class, I decided that it was finally time to stop into that little cafe. The waitress was pleasant, and when I said I’d just come from yoga, she brought some ice water with lemon right away.  I asked how long the cafe had been in operation, and she launched into a colorful tale of cafe survival that was basically a reflection of the renaissance of downtown Fort Myers. “We’ve had a lot of adversity,” she said. “But we’ve prevailed.”

As I was leaving, I asked her name. She shook my hand and said, “It was nice meeting you. My name is <Insert Name Of Niece>”.

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